San Jose Sharks: Should Joe Pavelski Be Paid The Same As Logan Couture?

By Randy Holt
Logan Couture
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks haven’t done much to their roster this summer, mainly due to the fact that they’re currently hamstringed financially. What they have done, however, is extend a couple of key pieces to their roster long term, with new deals for Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski.

Each of them were in line for a new deal. With the aging core that the Sharks currently employ, locking up their future superstar, in Couture, as well as another key piece of their offensive attack in Pavelski. However, the fact that Pavelski is earning the same amount as Couture over the course of their respective deals doesn’t make quite as much sense.

Each of them will carry a cap hit of $6 million once these new deals go into effect in the 2014-15 season. Pavelski is the longer tenured player, as he’ll turn 30 just after next season. Couture is nearing the prime of his career, which could happen in the next year or two. He’ll turn 25 during the 2013-14 season.

But the fact that Pavelski, who has had a fine career to this point, is going to be carrying the same cap hit as Couture, doesn’t add up. Pavelski is a guy capable of putting in 50 or 60 points in a season, and is good for 20 or so goals. He’s a key piece, but he’s not a superstar like Couture is.

Couture is a future star for this organization. He’s already beginning to reach the ranks of the league’s elite, with a strong regular season and an outstanding playoffs. He’s a guy who could put up 70 or more points at any point, including at least 30 goals on a yearly basis. He’s a weapon on the power play. There’s just too much to like about him.

It may not be any sort of issue as far as Couture is concerned. But there’s certainly something questionable about paying Joe Pavelski the same amount as your franchise centerpiece. If I was Couture, I might feel a little slighted, and perhaps a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get more out of them.

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